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Despite the pledge made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the past general election that he would not allow any defeated candidate to enter parliament through the National List or appoint them to key posts in state institutions, it appears that he has reneged on his promise after appointing a leading member of the 'Viyathmaga' organisation.

Anura Fernando, who unsuccessfully contested the last general election representing the 'Viyathmaga' organisation from the Colombo district, has been appointed as the new Chairman and CEO of Ceybank Asset Management Ltd. (AML), a subsidiary of the Bank of Ceylon.

A cost management accountant, Fernando is also regarded as one of the co-founders of the Viyathmaga organisation.
 
With his appointment, a number of stalwarts, including former minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who contested and lost the last general election, are pleading Basil Rajapaksa to provide them with top government posts, reports reaching the 'The Leader' disclosed.
 
Due to the President's announcement that he would not entertain any requests from losing candidates at the general election, some of the chairpersons of state institutions who had planned to contest withdrew from the election to avoid any unnecessary risks that would jeopardise their chances of holding on to their plum positions.